In the Media


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Competition looks at redesign for S.F. Bay as sea levels rises

By John King, September 14, 2017

Bay Area residents know how hard it is to get a full sense of the large and constantly shifting shoreline that frames the body of water at the center of this region.

Now imagine you’re an architect or landscape architect from outside the United States, embarking on an eight-month effort to conceive how different parts of the overall waterfront might function generations from now — not just ecologically, but also in terms of the people and cultures along it.

Read more on The San Francisco Chronicle's website here


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Design Teams Attack Growing Threat for Bay Area Flooding: Rising Seas

By Craig Miller, September 10, 2017

Ten teams of experts will hit the ground this week in a yearlong blitz to bolster the Bay Area against rising seas and other potentially catastrophic risks posed by the changing climate. The project, dubbed Resilient by Design, was inspired by a similar planning challenge to rebuild east coast locations ravaged by “Superstorm” Sandy in October of 2012.

“We’ve realized that our current systems aren’t set up to address what we know is happening,” says Amanda Brown-Stevens, a land use advocate who is heading up the project. “So we want the teams to think outside the box.”

Read more on KQED's website here.


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10 teams selected to map Bay Area’s response to rising sea levels

By John King, September 10, 2017

With sea level rise expected to become a pressing threat here within decades, 10 design teams have been selected to map how the Bay Area can respond. Each team will receive up to $250,000 for its work, which begins this week and will conclude in May with adaptation strategies for 10 distinct locations along the edge of the bay. There’s no guarantee they will be built — but the high-visibility competition could make it easier to attract large-scale grants and funding.

The teams were announced Sunday at an event on the Richmond waterfront. They include representatives of nine countries, and were culled from 51 contenders. Several teams also include names that have star wattage, at least in the world of urban design.

Read more on The San Francisco Chronicle's website here


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Inequality in the Bay Area Makes Preparing for Climate Change Impacts Harder

By Dave Nyczepir, September 18, 2017

Resilient by Design’s Bay Area Challenge chose 10 winning teams to each propose a project addressing resilience threats like sea level rise, severe storms, flooding or earthquakes in a critical region they identify.

Social inequalities and California’s affordable housing crisis compound resilience shocks in the Bay Area, making it harder for at-risk communities to rebound. Out of 51 submissions across 13 states and nine countries, challenge judges selected multidisciplinary teams consisting of architects, engineers, urban designers, ecologists, hydrologists and sustainability experts.

Read more on Route Fifty's site here


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A Radical New Plan to "Future-Proof" San Francisco

By Tim Nelson, September 14, 2017

San Francisco is one of the many cities in the U.S. threatened by climate change. Scientific projections predict that sea level rise is likely to push tides upwards with accelerating force in the coming decades and a 2012 study estimated that the average high tide within San Francisco Bay could be 66 inches higher by 2100. 

Seeking to face the threat of rising sea levels head on, a group of community, industry and government leaders have launched a new competition in the Bay Area that seeks to restore shoreline resiliency, the phrase encompassing techniques that resist rising tides while at the same time providing ecological benefits. Think approaches like planting natural buffers such as eelgrass, which help absorb the shock of storm surges as oceans rise—a challenge that hard structures can't easily meet—while also luring water bugs, fish, birds, and shell reefs that support native oysters. 

Read more on Architectural Digest's site here


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National Geographic: How the Bay Area Is Restoring Nature's Delicate Balance

By Jane Kay, June 13, 2017   

"A competition, Resilient by Design, inspired by work on the New York and New Jersey coasts, aims to attract international architects and engineers who will figure out how the region can deal with the higher tides that are forecast as the Earth warms. People living inside the Gate have been reminded that San Francisco Bay is the goose laying its golden eggs.

Gorgeous gray fog would still pour through the Golden Gate if the bay were a dead, stinking, stagnant pond, but we wouldn’t want to live here. Bay Area residents recognize that sustaining life in the bay means protecting the special ecological system that evolved to survive cycles of drought and deluge."

Read more on National Geographic's website here.


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10 Design Teams Selected to Tackle Bay Area Sea Level Rise

 By Rachel Dovey, September 13, 2017

In January, the Rockefeller Foundation announced a design challenge to tackle sea-level rise in the San Francisco Bay Area modeled on a similar contest in New York. While the east coast challenge sought to address damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, its west coast cousin aims to proactively design regional climate mitigations before the waters rise. 

This week, 10 design teams have been chosen to participate from a pool of 51 submissions. Their members include urban planners, architects, engineers, ecologists and permaculture experts.

Read more on Next City's site here


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BIG, MVRDV, James Corner and more to tackle Bay Area climate change

By Dan Howarth, September 19, 2017

Ten teams of architects and engineers have been chosen to design solutions that will help San Francisco and the surrounding region combat the effects of climate change. Resilient by Design's Bay Area Challenge asked entrants to come up with ideas to protect coastal areas from rising sea levels, flooding and earthquakes.

As the global climate warms and these kinds of events appear to be getting more frequent, the region doesn't want to take any chances.

Read more on Dezeen's site here.


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MVRDV, Big, and James Corner Field Operations selected to future-proof Bay Area

By Antonio Pacheco, September 12, 2017

Resilient by Design | Bay Area has chosen 10 multi-disciplinary teams to partake in the next phase of a design challenge focused on future-proofing California’s San Francisco Bay Area against the destructive effects of climate change and sea level rise. 

The 10 teams will partner with community members and organizations over the next nine months to develop innovative approaches for the region. The teams include several notable architecture and landscape architecture firms, including BIG, MVRDV,  and James Corner Field Operations. Each of the selected teams contains at least one community member and several of the teams are entirely Bay Area–based.

Read more on The Architect's Newspaper's site here


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10 Design Teams from Around the Globe Selected to Create Community-Based Solutions to Climate Change in the Bay Area

Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge  - Press Release, September 10, 2017

Design Teams, chosen from over 350 local and global experts, were announced by State Senator Bob Wieckowski, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt and other leaders at a lively community BBQ along the beautiful Richmond Shoreline.

“Our ten Design Teams selected stood out because of their creativity, innovation, and deep commitment to community,” said Amanda Brown-Stevens, Managing Director of Resilient by Design. “Our Design Teams are on the ground this week as we kick off the next phase of the Bay Area Challenge to hear from local voices dedicated to making our region more resilient. This is the first step in what will be a collaboration with local experts to identify locations around the Bay that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change

Read the full press release here.


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Resilient by Design Receives 76 Site Submissions, Extends Deadline to Accommodate Tremendous Interest

Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge  - Press Release, July 19, 2017

Due to tremendous and growing interest from Bay Area communities, Resilient by Design will accept site ideas for an additional two weeks to ensure people throughout the Bay Area can learn about the Challenge. With 76 sites submissions so far, community members are encouraged to continue identifying sites throughout their community in need of investment and innovative ideas to address climate change, rising sea levels, infrastructure and earthquakes.

“We are extremely excited to announce that we are extending the deadline,” said Amanda Brown-Stevens, Managing Director of Resilient by Design. “The more this Challenge relies on the ideas and inspiration of our local communities, the more likely design solutions will bring about a stronger, safer Bay for everyone to enjoy.”

Read the full press release here.


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Over 50 Teams Vie to join Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge to Create Innovative Solutions to Climate Change as Bay Area Receives Worldwide Attention

Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge  - Press Release, July 12, 2017

"Today, Resilient by Design, an exciting new approach in addressing climate change before disaster strikes, announced it has received 51 Design Team applications from multi- disciplinary experts vying to be selected for the Bay Area Challenge. Teams comprised of over 350 local, national and global experts submitted applications detailing bold visions for a stronger, safer San Francisco Bay and underscore their commitment to the yearlong challenge that will result in 10 innovative solutions revealed next May 2018.

While each Design Team application has at least one local team member, and all are required to involve the community in developing their solutions, a wide array of renowned design, ecological, social and resilience experts from around the world speaks to broad interest. The 51 teams reflect architects, engineers, horticulturists, artists, students, academics and more, hailing from 9 different countries and 13 states. In all, 368 people applied."

Read the full press release here.


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Archinect: Designing for Disaster, Before It Happens: Resilient by Design Seeks Architects

By Julia Ingalls, June 2, 2017

"The preventative nature of the brief makes Resilient by Design unusual. The organizers of the initiative are hoping to create strong relationships between local community members and design professionals in order to more accurately identify sites that require solutions, an alliance that may result in a multi-jurisdictional approach toward design, perhaps changing how other governments conceive of tackling the problem. Although the initiative is locally focused, its preventative nature and community focus is designed to help generate broader applications.

As the brief notes, “The Bay Area is generally considered a nine‐county region, but there are few opportunities or requirements for jurisdictions (cities, counties and special districts) to work together on pressing public policy issues. Climate impacts will not be limited to jurisdictional boundaries, meaning some design solutions need to cross jurisdictions."

Read more on Archinect's website here. 


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E&E News: Bay Area readies for sea-level rise

By Anne Mulkern, June 1, 2017  

"A San Francisco-area group is recruiting teams of experts to design solutions for nine Bay Area counties facing sea-level rise and other climate change impacts.

The Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge yesterday said it's looking for architects, engineers and ecology experts to help San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties. The group additionally called for suggestions on specific sites for adaptation solutions.

At an event near the waterfront in Oakland, several local mayors mentioned President Trump's likely plan to pull the United States out of the international Paris Agreement on climate change action. Given that, local action is needed more than ever, mayors said.

"There is one thing researchers agree on: Flooding will hit hardest in the neighborhoods where people have the least resources," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D)."

Read more on E&E News' website here.


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The San Francisco Chronicle: Design teams compete for best solution to sea-level conundrum

By John King, May 31, 2017

"An ambitious design competition that seeks to make the Bay Area a model for how to prepare for sea-level rise kicks off this week.

The competition, dubbed “Resilient by Design,” will select 10 interdisciplinary teams to tackle 10 sites around the bay, with at least one in each county. Each team will focus on a single site and prepare a design response that is intended to be not just visually cool, but scientifically and economically feasible.

“If we can figure out how to do this, and make changes on the ground or along the shore as well as come up with ideas, we can really be a model” for other metropolitan areas, said Amanda Brown-Stevens, managing director of the design competition, which is scheduled to conclude next May."

Read more on The San Francisco Chronicle's website here. 


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San Francisco Business Times: Global design challenge sets sights on adapting Bay Area infrastructure

By Hannah Norman, May 31, 2017  

"Resilient by Design is an open call for multidisciplinary teams comprised of architects, engineers, designers and other experts to take part in a research and design challenge that identifies critical locations for infrastructure adaptation projects. It aims to strengthen the Bay Area’s resilience to sea level rise, flooding, storms and earthquakes. The program launches on May 31 and will last for a year, after which associated plans could be funded into action."

Read more on San Francisco Business Times' website. 


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The Mercury News: Denouncing Trump’s Paris remarks, local leaders vow to double-down on climate action with design challenge

By Erin Baldassari, May 31, 2017

"OAKLAND — Standing at the edge of Oakland against the backdrop of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline, leaders from across the region on Wednesday denounced President Donald Trump’s promise to break from the Paris climate accord, appealing to global experts and local activists alike to confront the challenge climate change is posing for communities across the Bay Area.

They couldn’t have divined a more timely context for the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge, which officially launched Wednesday, 24 hours before Trump formally announced his decision to withdraw from the landmark 2015 agreement between 147 nations to curb climate change.

The yearlong competition is expected to draw small armies of architects and urban planners, ecologists and engineers, public finance specialists and educators, community advocates and activists, and others in a fight for ideas. Those ideas will be contained in 10 projects designed to better defend the Bay Area’s most vulnerable communities against the impacts of climate change."

Read more on The Mercury News' website here.